Frank C. Terry, Sr.

Animation director, educator, artist and family man

Longtime Claremont resident and animation director, Frank C. Terry, Sr. died surrounded by loved ones in his home after a brief illness on Tuesday, February 11.

Born in Staten Island, New York in 1939, Mr. Terry moved to Claremont in 1951. He graduated from Claremont High School in 1957 and went on to earn a BFA from California Institute of the Arts, Chouinard Art School in Los Angeles. Mr. Terry then traveled to Europe where his Chouinard’s graduate film was selected for festival screening in Annecy, France.

He stayed in Europe to work at Cine Centrum in Hilversum, the Netherlands and it was during this time that he met his future wife, Nelleke. In 1967, Mr. Terry returned to Claremont.

In 1967, Mr. Terry won the Design West Award for Best Animation. With a career that spanned 28 years, he animated and directed numerous television advertisements for clients such as Raid, Kellogg, Green Giant, Keebler, Allstate, Levi Strauss, Nieman Marcus, American Express, Procter and Gamble, Mattel, Pillsbury and Quaker Oats.

He won multiple CLIO, Ad Age and International Broadcasting Awards, and was also the recipient of the New York Art Directors Club Award for Best Animation.  

Pursing a love of teaching, he became director of the Character Animation Program at California Institute of the Arts in 1995.  It was during this time that he mentored many talented young animators until his retirement in 2008.  

Following retirement he spent his years as a fine art painter.  Despite his full artistic life, his greatest legacy is his family. Friends and family alike remember him with love and affection for his creative, energetic and adventurous spirit, friends noted.

Mr. Terry is survived by his wife of 48 years, Nelleke Terry; his daughter and son-in-law, Jennifer and Steven Anderson of Claremont; his son and daughter-in-law, Frank and Kristen Terry of Highland Park; his grandchildren, Madison Anderson and Nico Terry; his sister and brother-in-law, Carol and Charles Tunley of Clinton, Washington; his brother and sister-in-law, John and Susan Terry of Boise, Idaho; and his nieces and nephews.  

A memorial service will be held at a later date. Memorial donations in Mr. Terry’s honor can be made to VNA & Hospice of Southern California, 150 W. First St., Suite 270, Claremont, CA 91711.


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